Category Archives: food

Delicious Roast Beast

That’s right, I said beast! It’s a family tradition, after all…

I love roast beast, it’s actually one of my favourite meals, come to think of it. It’s right up there with a turkey dinner with all the fixin’s and pizza. Yummo!

One of the bloggers over at Wisebread wrote a great post on roast beast, and how you can get several meals out of one good cook up.

Roast beef is an excellent way to get a number of good, hearty meals on the cheap (Because you’re cooking it so slowly, you can purchase the cheaper cuts of meat). Wisebread lists making the roast beef itself, hot beef sandwiches, sloppy joes, quesadillas and soup, which are all fantastic ideas. Traditionally my family just keeps on eating the roast beef AS roast beef, though sometimes we make the hot sandwiches, too. Oh, and cold beef sammies.

My mom usually makes this meal in the colder months when I come home for a visit, and we invite my grandpa over, too. It’s one of those meals that always has good memories attached!

My perfect roast beef meal is this:
-Roast beast
-Roasted carrots & onions
-Steamed broccoli
-Mashed potatoes and gravy
-Grandpa’s homemade onion bread & butter
-Grandpa’s homemade red wine

What’s your ideal combination?

Summerlicious is Delicious!

Sometimes I really love living in Toronto. There always seems to be something going on, especially in the summer.

Right now, Summerlicious is on until Sunday. What is Summerlicious, you ask?

Well, aside from being totally fabulous, Summerlicious is a span of 2 weeks when a large amount of the fancy-pants restaurants and bistros in the city create special prix fixe menus and open their doors to what I like to call “the general riff-raff”. That is, regular Joes like you and me.

Basically they make an affordable menu ($25-35) that includes an appetizer, main and dessert to showcase or feature the types of menu items and deliciousness they offer up on a regular basis. Sometimes they will create new menu items just for Summerlicious which is also cool. Generally to eat at one of these places you’re looking at upwards of $50/person, sans beverages, so Summerlicious is really excellent in that you can try these places out without a huge dollar commitment.

From the website:
“During Summerlicious, more than 130 of Toronto’s top restaurants offer residents and tourists alike the opportunity to sample a wide variety of diverse and innovative cuisine through prix fixe menus. Foodies can dine for a lot less on the specially created lunches and dinners that come complete with promotional prices.

Now in its sixth year, Summerlicious features three-course prix fixe menus priced at $15 or $20 for lunch and $25 or $35 for dinner.”

All the years that I’ve been living in the GTA, I never went to a restaurant during Summerlicious. But last night I changed it all and went out for my very first! Toronto has such diverse dining options I just love eating out in the city.

My friend M from kung fu and I went to the Bier Markt last night for some really awesome food and beers. I tried an awesome strawberry white-wheat beer from Belgium, and she had some Hoegaarden for the first time.

For the $35 Summerlicious menu I started with the artisanal cheese plate followed by some Chicken Coq au Beir, then a crème brule trio of coconut, peach and banana. YUM!

The food and atmosphere was fabulous, the server was good, and the best part was the price! With our drinks and tip the bill came to only $105, which was about $53 each. Not bad! Especially when you take into consideration how much our meal would have cost a la carte. (yes, I’m a geek and therefore costed it out!)

Cheese plate: $17
Chicken: $29
Dessert: $9
Total: $55

PLUS any beers that we got. I figure with drinks it would have added up to about $70 each, so I feel that $53 was a good value. I kind of cringe that it was $53 that I could have spent elsewhere, but I had a really great time, and a great experience, and sometimes its worth spending a little bit extra.

I must confess, lately I haven’t been doing too well in the financial area of life. I’m not in debt or anything, but I’m seeing my savings deplete rather than grow, which is very scary for me. Either tonight or this weekend I’m going to sit down and try to figure out the following:

Where is my money going?
Create a budget
Revise my savings plan and goals
Create a plan to pay off my credit cards to start fresh (OMG I totally got dinged with an interest payment this month. WTF, Ginger?)

I’ve been so busy lately that I really haven’t had time for anything. I’ve been meaning to sweep the floor in my room for 4 days… and the broom is still sitting forlornly in the corner. I haven’t been writing in my blog, cleaning or anything lately. This weekend I’ll be home though, so I hope to get a bunch of stuff done.

Anyway, I digress. Summerlicious was great and I just wish that there were more people I could go to the restaurants with, but everyone is either booked or broke these days, so no more fine dining for Ginger :(

If you’re in the GTA and haven’t tried Summerlicious (or Winterlicious) out yet, I definitely suggest you get your butts in gear and check it out!

Ginger out.